The most eagerly awaited appointment comes after a crackling Tour de Ski, which has once again certified the incredible talent of Norwegian Johannes Høsflot Klæbo, now at his third victory, which follows those of 2019 and 2022. A monstrous proof for the multi-Olympic champion, who after having won 6 of the 7 races in the programme, presents himself in Livigno as the absolute favourite. In the women's category, on the other hand, the first big success in the career of Frida Karlsson, Swedish born in 1999, who is also expected next weekend, and who, with a heart-stopping finale, managed to hold off the Finnish Kerttu Niskanen.
Many of the big names have already moved to Livigno, to start testing the terrain of a race course that is beginning to take shape, and which seems to have been built ad hoc to ensure two races full of spectacle and perhaps even surprises. Among them, we hope there may also be some tricolour, thanks to an Italian team that came out very well from the Tour de Ski and is ready to have its say on the home slopes. In addition to the usual unfailing Federico Pellegrino, currently third in both the overall and Sprint rankings and a great regular of Livigno's snow, there are also good feelings for Francesco De Fabiani, who returned to the podium in Val di Fiemme, and for Simone Mocellini, an athlete on the rise and a specialist, like Chicco, in the Sprint.
Eighteen nations will be represented in the two-day event in Livigno, which offers a double event: the Individual Sprint, on Saturday, and the Team Sprint, on Sunday. Sweden, Great Britain, Latvia, Brazil, Germany, Poland, Austria, France, Slovenia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, United States, Norway, Serbia, Thailand, Macedonia will ensure a large and varied turnout of supporters, which, together with the warmth of the Italian fans, will turn Livigno into the theatre of a real sport festival. And precisely for this reason, the resort is preparing to welcome athletes and fans from all over the world with a rich and quality programme, which will frame the sporting event.
The focus is therefore on the opening of the event, set for Friday 20 January with the parade of athletes through the streets of the centre. Scheduled to start at the COOP, in Via dala Gesa, at 6 p.m., for a glamorous walk through the heart of the town, which will end in Piazza del Comune, and will immediately make the public's enthusiasm felt by the champions present. This will be followed by the greetings of the institutions, the presentation of the athletes and that of Livigno's mascot, scheduled for around 18.30. Great finale, finally, with food&beverage in Piazza del Comune and live music, which will also accompany the Saturday evening to make the first cross-country World Cup stage in Livigno's history truly unique.
During the two race days, instead, near the race course, there will be an expo area, open between 10.30 and 15.00, with the musical entertainment of Radio 105 and a rich food&beverage offer.